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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 09-12-2021, 03:34 PM
ManInBlack83 ManInBlack83 is offline
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Hello everyone-

I purchased this from a friend, it belonged to his dad. He has the box and factory grips somewhere, which he's currently looking for.

Serial # is 306***, which thanks to the internet says it was manufactured in 1957. I don't care about collectibility, just wanted to share my thoughts on the quality...absolutely AMAZING. Damn shame they don't make them like this anymore.



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Old 09-12-2021, 04:53 PM
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Appears to be a .38 Combat Masterpiece, and in pretty good shape, despite the Goodyears.

The serial number is K306xxx, and it probably is from 1957, although it could have shipped the following year. I show a K304xxx and a K314xxx shipping in 1958.

The Combat Masterpiece is a wonderful revolver. Congrats.
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Old 09-12-2021, 09:29 PM
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"The Combat Masterpiece is a wonderful revolver."

Yes yes and yes.
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Old 09-12-2021, 10:47 PM
ManInBlack83 ManInBlack83 is offline
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I had cleaned it for him about a year ago. I was over at his house this weekend working on his AR. Went to leave and said he wanted to sell it because he wasn't going to shoot it. I wanted to ask him if he'd sell it back when I cleaned it, but figured no because it had sentimental value.

Something I noticed...the trigger and hammer are blued. You guys would definitely know better than me, but I've never seen a blued hammer and trigger on a Smith....always case hardened or stainless. I'm thinking at some point his dad had it re-blued?
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Old 09-12-2021, 11:44 PM
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Yes, those items were blued after the fact. Interestingly, the frame doesn't seem to show the normal signs of having been reblued. The sideplate seam is tight.

However, the cylinder and maybe the barrel, seem to be a different shade of blue. I wonder if those items, along with the hammer and trigger, were refinished without the frame being touched.
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Old 09-13-2021, 05:10 AM
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The owner may not have liked the case colors on the hammer and trigger or maybe used it enough they faded. He may have cold blued them.

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Old 09-13-2021, 09:52 AM
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As noted above, the trigger and hammer should not be blued. The finish sure looks like cold blue to me or a bad job of caustic blue. Mottled and cylinder turning plumb is a common problem with these guns since the cylinder is a different steel than the frame and will take longer to impart a true blue. By my observations, most small-time gunsmiths will pull all parts from the bluing tank at the same time and not allowing additional time needed for the hardened cylinders. They most often turn plum in a short time after refinished. If cold blued, the metal will not take the blue well and end up fading quickly after done.

Aside from the hardening of the steel in cylinders, I have been told that high nickel steel was often used in cylinders to impart more toughness than standard steel. Nickel will not blue and high nickel content steel will blue poorly.

It just depends on what you want to do with your revolver. You can just shoot it just as it is and have a great time with a fine old S&W or easily strip the bluing off the hammer and trigger. You can also find some original S&W walnut Magna or Target stocks to put it back to its original classic configuration.
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Old 09-13-2021, 10:07 AM
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I'm just going to leave it as is. I purchased it to shoot it and use it for teaching purposes. I'm going for my NRA Pistol Instructor certification so I've been buying a variety of handguns to use in classes. I figured this would be a good example of "old school" quality and allow everyone to see in person what a "pre-lock" Smith is.

Should have the box and original grips in the next few weeks, the previous owner just moved so he's currently digging through a bunch of stuff to find it.

Going to try to get to the range with it this week, I also have a 1977 New Model Blackhawk I purchased and worked on to try out. Nothing much, just installed a wide spur Super Blackhawk hammer. going to run a box of SWC's through both and see how they shoot.

Thank you all for the replies.
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Old 09-13-2021, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManInBlack83 View Post
. . . I've been buying a variety of handguns to use in classes. I figured this would be a good example of "old school" quality and allow everyone to see in person what a "pre-lock" Smith is. . . .
. . . and for some students, seeing a "revolver" for the first time!!!!
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Old 09-16-2021, 04:51 PM
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Snuck a quick range trip in today first targets @ 10 yards with 158gr LRN



12 rounds of WWB 130gr FMJ



Sorry about the NM Blackhawk, picked it up the week before so had to take it for a spin as well
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:43 PM
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That's some fine iron and shooting.
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Old 09-17-2021, 09:23 AM
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Can't be 100% certain, but there is the distinct possibility the finish is not original. That kills collector value, but also makes it a shooter grade firearm. Enjoy that Combat Masterpiece and S&W did not give the "Masterpiece" name to certain revolvers purely for marketing.
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